Talk:Patriarchy/Archive 1 Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Patriarchy/Archive_1

Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5

Is exploitation the definition of Patriarchy?

If men control the government, or are in all the "leadership positions" in society, but somehow refrain from dominating or exploiting women, would it still be considered a patriarcy? In other words, is exploitation an essential element of the definition? Also, if men fill a majority, but not all, of the leadership positions, is it still a patriarchy? --Wesley

  • Actually it is not "men" who make a patriarchy, (as you can see around you, not all men rule and the most are exploited, too). Pater means father in Latin/Greek, and goes back to Indo-European languages where it shows up fist (with the emerge of patriarchy, 5000 BCE). In pre-patriarchal societies the word father (patr) didn't exist (other than mother, which is one of the oldest words in all regions of the world). And when the word father emerged it didn't mean the biological father who cares about his children, as we understand it today. From the beginning the term was an abstract institutional expression of hierarchy and rulership. Father stood for the image of rulership, the ruler as the law and as god. (cp. godfather, father in heaven etc.). (Since my mother tongue is German I will not edit the text, but I know about the subject and can help here on the discussion page and please feel free to add my words to the article in proper English. If you have questions or want sources, please ask.)-- sybilla 21:55, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
patr is uncontroversially IE. What people did and believed prior to 3000 BCE is not known with certainty because we have no documents prior to that time (see History of writing). Alastair Haines 06:07, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Theorists within the corpus labelled "radical feminism" have much, much more to say about definining patriarchy. ...but then the Wikipedia entry for radfem is kinda weak too.
In the Marxist narrative of history, yeah. With each historical transition, the relations of production change. women => serfs => laborers Or so the story goes.... Billbrock 05:39, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Much discussion on this talk page revolves around the issue raised by Wesley. In feminist writing, patriarchy does normally imply exploitation. In dictionaries, anthropology, sociology, theology ... it does not. The feminist point of view should be documented on this page, but is worthy of its own page (imo) -- Patriarchy in feminism, for example. Then we can link to it as Wiki's main entry on the subject. Please, please, please, feminists (or anyone) come forward and start this needed article. Alastair Haines 06:00, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Would you say that it should be discussed here - or does it deserve a separate article? Google search nets less then 20 hits on the patrimonalism. I spelled it after Reinhard Bendix book Max Weber - An Intellectual Portrait. Max Weber in discussing the traditional authority differentiated patrimonalism (maybe another term is used for it nowadays?) as an advanced version of patriarchy (see the traditional authority article for the definition and discussion). So far I created a temporary redirect from patrimonalism to patriarchy and wonder if we should:

  • leave the discussion of patrimonalism on traditional authority page
  • move it to the patrimonalism article
  • move it to patriarchy article
  • do some combination of the above?

--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 11:43, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Combine 2 and 3 , I think. A term added to Patriarchy with a link to the Patrimony page with term in legal sense and Weber's Patrimonalism as part of the development of Capitalism. --paula clare 15:33, 7 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Have made brief reference to patrimonialism as word (and practice) related to patriarchy, which it is, so something should be entred under this article. Patrimonalism assumes patriarchy, it focusses on the highest patriarch -- the monarch. Have mentioned legal legacy. Have also linked to the more substantial entry under traditional authority. Recommend: the Traditional authority material be copied to a main entry on patrimonalism, with See also: Traditional authority and Patriarchy at that entry. Alastair Haines 06:22, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


For translations/ethymology from Greek or Latin I like to use Perseus Tufts, i.e. for arché: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0059%3Aentry%3D%233418


Noted, thanks for this great resource link sybilla. :D Alastair Haines 06:23, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"Other authors have condemned feminists for trying to replace patriarchy with matriarchy, an equally harmful system."-this sentence seems to be saying that matriarchy is a harmful system and that patriarchy is an equally harmful system. I personally agree, but would like to know if that can be taken as "fact" that these systems are harmful? And, could I have the source on that?(I am sorry if I did this wrong.)-user blogger111

I think that comes from the idea that there's nothing inherently better about women, and that it doesn't matter which group it is that has the extended privileges and power. from the analysis that patriarchy is bad and that there's nothing inherently better about women, you conclude that matriarchy is also bad. I gather there are some feminists who insist that women are, in essence, better than men and should rule in a matriarchy, but strains such as radical feminism would disagree with this 'essentialist' position and equally oppose matriarchy. --Doviende 00:14, 27 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Both these important and relevant ideas are included in the text of the current article. Thanks for your input Blogger and Doviende. Alastair Haines 07:34, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

in anthropology

I have been editing the Patriarchy in anthropology page, but I noticed that my additions and alterations had been removed. As the existing piece of writing seemed rather one-sided I had added some quotes from Margaret Mead with bibl. refs, and edited out a quote which is questionably attributed to her, and having no reference attached. If you, the writer of the piece, wants to discuss this on this page I would be very pleased to explain why I made the changes. Wikipedia is too important a project to have anything less than well rounded and academically respectable entries. I look forward to your reply. -Paula Clare 07:21 9 November 2005

Hello. I reinstated the original quotation from Margaret Mead. The link following the quotation provides the originating work (I also have the hard copy at my office). Mead was speaking in terms of what she discovered over a very long and illustrious career in cultural anthropology and her contributions in ethnographic studies. There had been a number of works released at the the time that stated that her published position on Melanesia and New Guinea's aboriginal society was that the society was matriarchal, and not matrilocal as she actually wrote. What Mead said was accepted within the anthropological discipline and is not seriously debated within that community; outside the community is a different matter. This position was perhaps most famously recounted in Ernest Gellner's work on Muslim Society. Jtmichcock 23:11, 9 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi, The link to the originating work gives Stephen Goldberg's book 'Why Men Rule', not any of Margaret Mead's works, so what is still needed is a reference to this quotation. Does your hard copy give a reference to the original book from which it is taken? The quotation contradicts a passage on page 275 of Mead's 'Male and Female'. Discussing the various forms of existing matriarchal societies she describes:'..systems, such as the Iroquois Indians, where political power is in women's hands, since the women elders nominate the holders of titles who also weild political power'.
I don't think matriarchy can really be only a theoretical term. There are so many actual examples of types of society other than patriarchy. Other anthropologists have observed and described what they have called matriarchies including Malinowski's Tobriand Islanders and Reeves Sanday's Minangkabau people.
I am suggesting for the sake of accuracy that, as there are several views about this term 'patriarchy' as used in anthropology, we should include several contrasting examples and make no dogmatic statements about a study which is still very open to investigation. Paula Clare 10:22 12 November 2005
Paula, thank you for your contributions. Please be bold and correct this yourself. Also, please register - it will make editing much easier for everyone concerned. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:32, 12 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mead had provided the forward to the book and she recounted what she was expressing the same sentiment she had provided to the American Anthropological Association approximately two years prior in a speech at one of their annual meetings. Those are her words. Actually, I believe your comments oddly pick up on one of the misconceptions (discussed below).
The Iroqouis Nation has been brought up on a number of times in the classes I have taught. There women have the authority to go into conclave and elect the chief of the tribe. However, the potential candidates for chief are preselected and only males are allowed to become chief. This is similar to the process in the Roman Catholic church where the cardinals are charged with selecting a pope, but is dissimilar insofar as none of the women selecting can actually be chief and, unlike cardinals, after the election serve no role in Six Nations' governance. Although the reasons for the selection process being that way antedate historical records, the general consensus was that there were violent incidents in prior meetings involving men.
As to the Minangkabau peoples, these are a Muslim group within Indonesia. What makes them particularly unique is that tribal traditions allow women to perform more activities within the community, including religious practices. I imagine if you are looking at this from the vantage point of the Muslim community, you might think this is non-patriarchal. Nonetheless, there's no female dominance or any trace of an equiarchal society.
The Trobriand islanders (note spelling), oddly enough, is one group I reference in the entry above yours where Mead believed that people had been using her ethnographic studies to try to describe the culture as matriarchal. In fact, the culture is matrilocal and matrilineal, as a many resource-poor societies. The Wikipedia article describes the differences in these terms. As Mark Twain remarked, "the difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug."
As to matters being open to investigation, that is true as to any scientific field. Patriarchy is defined very clearly in the field. Mathematicians are always on the look out for why 1 plus 1 would not equal 2. But after a few centuries of studies, no matriarchal society has ever been identified. Anthropologists view such monitoring with nearly the same perspective as mathematicians view their conundrum. While a matriarchy may exist, most look to more interesting challenges. Jtmichcock 01:55, 13 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I would like to get on to another subject but this section can't be left as it is. Firstly, the Margart Mead quote has not been given a full reference from a primary source. Secondly, Donald Browns and Stephen Goldberg's theories about the inevitability of patriarchy should be included in the piece, but as one possible theory amongst others. The inevitability of anything is pretty uninspiring, and considering the state of the world dominated and threatened by predominantly patriarchal power groups, perhaps we should be looking at the evidence of alternative social organisations. Another quote from Mead: 'We can design forms .. that fit our modern life better if we know what designs have been used in the past'. Let's not limit these options by rigid definitions.Paula Clare 19:57 13 11 2005
Goldberg has been added as you request Paula Clare. Iroqois, Minangkabau and Trobriand Islanders are now all listed in Alleged matriarchies, and I kinda added just one or two more. So I hope that makes it clear that patrilineal and patrilocal societies are not the only options people have chosen. Definitions of matrilocal and matrilinear also included, and distinguished from matriarchal. That helps clarify the main issue. Mead is also directly referenced, rather than via Goldberg's citation. All relevant and helpful contributions to the article, thank you everyone. Wish you'd done the actual writing though. ;) Alastair Haines 09:55, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Now this section is not editable it is left with innaccuracies and intentional mis-information . The personal opinions and prejudices of one point of view should not be able to prevail . The writer of the text which is now available has also given wrong information and openly ridiculed an organisation which is doing serious and academically authentic work in anthropology. If this can happen there is something wrong with the Wikipedia system. I think the idea of a 'stable text' remaining when the is controversy is right, but to leave the vandalised text in place defeats the whole purpose. It is not a piece of writing one would wish someone to read who wanted to get a general meaning of patriarchy as an anthropological term. Paula Clare, 21 december 2005. 9.52PM

I note the presence in this entry of a paragraph that is crammed with deliberate falsehoods. It reads thus:
"Against this thesis is raised more and more emotionally-charged political opposition, today, from a new branch of social science, called modern Matriarchal Studies (see: matriarchy).Two World Congresses on Matriarchal Studies took place, 2003 in Luxembourg/Europe and 2005 in San Marcos, Texas/USA, based on a different definition of matriarchy and demonstrating that the concept of matriarchy as "women's or mother's rule" is wrong and male biased (see: www.hagia.de/, at this website both World Congresses are presented). No anthropological professionals were invited to these meetings. The 2003 Congress is perhaps most notable for having adopted a position that the sun revolves around the Earth, and not vice versa, adopting the political position that having "mother" Earth revolve around "father" sun was sexist imagery. To date, none of the efforts to "redefine" anthropological models have met with any academic acceptance."
I claim no special knowledge about this organization, but a quick look at the website makes the active participation of anthropologists obvious. Moreover, I see no trace of any resolutions on any subjects being debated or adopted, let alone one as obviously ludicrous as the above. An anti-feminist troll has been at work. David Harley 05 January 2006 11.52 AM, EST
Vandalism by anti-feminists, pro-feminists or jedi knights, it doesn't matter who, is vandalism and can be treated as such ... i.e. reverted. If a registered user -- warn first, then report to admin if it recurs. All are equal under the law, regardless of their ideological pursuasion. Most don't even bother to come back, though, let alone discuss their proposals. Be bold, revert! Alastair Haines 10:04, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sherry Ortner

Any discussion of the relevance to anthropology should likely also include the work of Sherry Ortner, who has looked at the record rather closely looking for examples of female-dominated societies which might lie outside Brown's "universal." She also has commented on this and related topics broadly, and should probably be included in any discussion here representing the discipline.

Have added Sherry to the bibliography. She is very impressive and has her own page at Wiki. On the subjects of gender and archeology, though, she represents one of the many brilliant people, who have come up with theories that are sadly proved wrong. Nature does influence gender and society, contra Sherry Ortner. She deserves a place in the bibliography though, because she applies the nurture not nature theory very thoroughly, and contra patriarchy. She operates at a much higher level than this article and the mere definition and categorization of social structures, however. She's in the bibliography, 'cause she's probably smarter than anyone who will ever visit this page. Go check out her "genius award". Reporting her ideas at the Matriarchy page or the Patriarchy in archeology, or Patriarchy in feminism page would seem to make most sense. Thanks for the tip-off, cheers. Alastair Haines 10:36, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


If you want to promote the feminist definition of "patriarchy", and thereby validate its existence, why do you support it with a verbose quote? The feminist academic who produced it rambles dizzyingly, fondly using pretentious jargon -- which presumably no one outside academia is supposed to read. Consider it again:

It is therefore extremely ironic that patriarchy has upheld power as a good that is permanent and dependable, opposing it to the fluid, transitory goods of matricentry. Power has been exalted as the bulwark against pain, against the ephemerality of pleasure, but it is no bulwark, and is as ephemeral as any other part of life...Yet so strong is the mythology of power that we continue to believe, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that it is substantial, that if we possessed enough of it we could be happy, that if some "great man" possessed enough of it, he could make the world come right.

I might be cyncical, but this woman appears to use dense sentences to suggest a complex, well considered argument and to thereby reduce the need for logic. If you want to elucidate the concept of the "patriarchy", you could use a transparent argument written in clear english. Or am I missing the point?

It does resemble almost every other description of the patriarchy I have read. And I am not suprised.

The adjective "Reactionary" before "gender-issues writer" (who dismisses the feminist defintion) clearly indicates the bias of this section. I think this bias exists because most people contributing to the section strongly hold it.

Here is a hint: the readers should be assumed to be curious, intelligent, and critical. Vitriol does not serve that purpose. The profound question is: Can it be written without vitriol?

Rintrah 21 March 2006 (UTC)

I've taken the term "reactionary" out of the sentance once before and i'm going to do it again. Because it's not a NPOV, if somsone wants to contextualise the term that is fine. i.e these people think she is reationary because of this...but as it stands it's extremely POV.--Monty Cantsin 01:58, 6 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thankfully people removed the anti-feminist vandalism. Now people have removed the feminist vandalism. Praise be to Wiki! Grrr vandals, may your beds be full of bugs and your food always taste like ashes. For goodness sake, if you want to promote a certain idea, go and write up an opinion page, like Purple (in purplephobic theory) or Sugarphiles, that way reporting opinions is the same as stating facts. Alastair Haines 11:06, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Patriarchy.. is that the right word?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't patriarchy mean a situation where the FATHER rules? I've always thought that the "rule of men" was, in fact, androcracy.

What's the difference between those two? -- unsigned

Not quite the same. Patriarchy implies any society where males dominate in positions of power. Androcracy would be a specific political subset where there is otherwise democratic rule. For example, the United States prior to 1920 could be deemed an androcracy because women could not vote, while men could and also a patriarchy because men dominated in positions of authority. In Saudia Arabia, there is no democracy and hence the governmental form is a patriarchy but not androcratic.
Here's something to consider in that it raises definitional issues. What would the society be if the majority of power brokers were male, but the majority of voters were female, and the male politicians mostly pandered to their fears and wants as opposed to male interests? Would this be a "patriarchy", a "matriarchy", or something different?
Hmm. Also , any examination of the history of voting rights in the US would indicate that white females got the vote before black males; that certain states had allowed female voting in the late 17 and early 18 hundreds, took this right away and later returned it, and that most males in the US couldn't vote either until about 1864 to 1866 as many states originally only franchised property owners. I don't think one can draw any conclusions about the US based on it's patterns of franchising people.
I personally agree that extending the definition of patriarchy from father-rule to male-domination confuses many issues. Unfortunately, anthropologists and feminists are the people who use the term most frequently, and they both agree (with a few exceptions) that male-domination is included in the meaning, and that all societies known so far have been male dominated, hence patriarchal. Anthropology simply reports this, feminists seek to change it. Unless we win the same influence that anthropologists and feminists hold, I doubt we'll change the terminology. Anyway, the article heading is patriarchy, the encyclopedia's task is to document what the heading means, and it means what people say it means. Ours is not to make the facts, but to report them. C'est la vie! I have separated the definition into two sections, which accomodates the excellent point you make. Alastair Haines 10:59, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

wow, this article reeks of feminist propaganda

and no one wants to fix it, I see. Are men even allowed to speak anymore?

Men are allowed to speak; however, people who subscribe to the feminist concept of the patriarchy, who have defined it for themselves, are more likely to take an interest in the article. Thus, it is they who write these articles, and insinuate their unquestioned assumptions.

Those who object think it is nonsense, and don't waste their time with a radical philosophy.

If you want to fix it, go ahead, though you will probably find ardent feminists reverting you. Rintrah 05:18, 31 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]



Sections should be added to show the development of patriarchy in ancient societies, such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. unsigned

This is an excellent suggestion and very encyclopedic, I'm sure it reflects what many readers would be looking for. The main difficulty with actually doing it is that the majority of scholars agree that ALL human history has always been patriarchal. In other words, to provide the history of the development of patriarchy would be to repeat the history of the world. However, there are people who believe humans were once not patriarchal and they do have theories about how patriarchy developed before history from things that weren't patriarchy. The thing is, we don't know what happened before history, because it's not recorded, that's what history means. In historical times, i.e. from 3000BC to now, patriarchy has always been there, and it pretty much always looks the same. Men run families, villages, countries, empires and multinational corporations ... same old, same old. The interesting question is the future, can we set it up so the girls get a go. What do you reckon? Alastair Haines 11:18, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Erase this page and start again. This page is not going to improve otherwise. Rintrah 02:51, 16 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Long live Rintrah! I did what you asked. Hope you're happy, 'cause I wouldn't have done it if you didn't ask. Alastair Haines 11:20, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

re:recent anonymous edit

Attempted to provide neutral definition, and fair credit to feminist interaction, forgot to log in first. Alastair Haines 04:58, 3 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The introduction still describes feminism with a particular bias; for example, "Most forms of feminism have challenged patriarchy as a social system that is adopted uncritically, due to millenia of human experience where male physical strength was the ultimate way of settling social conflicts." — it contains a hidden assumption, namely, that patriarchy is the governing social system and feminism works against it; this does not obey neutral tone. The introduction also needs heavy copyediting to make it readable.
I don't understand the relevance of "Patron", except as a linguistic curiosity. Either it doesn't belong there or the connection to "Patriarchy" needs to be established.
The democratic and anti-slavery movements of early 19th century Europe and America, and the civil rights movements of 20th century America, sought to overthrow oppressive and corrupt power structures. Both social contexts led naturally to the scrutiny of relationships between women and men.
This is unreferenced, and it is unclear how each movement led "naturally" to the "scrunity".
The 19th century debate ultimately resulted in women receiving the vote; this is sometimes refered to as "first wave" feminism.
The above sentence does not clearly indicate this stemmed from the women's rights movement. As a juxtaposition with the previous sentence, it is (perhaps unintentionally) put in the context of the democratic and anti-slaver movements, as opposed to the women's rights one.
The late 20th century debate has produced far ranging social restructuring in Western democracies -- "second wave" feminism. Some consider the "second wave" to be continuing into the 21st century, others consider it to be complete, still others consider there to be a "third wave" of feminism active in contemporary society.
These sentences discuss feminism, not the "patriarchy". The latter needs greater exposition. Avoid the scourge of weasel language; "Some consider" is a beast. (Very minor point: below "Save page" and "Show preview" is a row with: "Insert: – — … °"; you can use it to insert an em-dash, instead of typing "--")
The opposite of "feminism" is not "masculism" but probably something rather like "patriarchy".
Flagrant view peddling. Not only is it unsourced, but it is pushing the argument that opposition to feminism is implicit (or explicit) support of the patriarchy. Whether or not this is correct (it's not), it still does not belong to a neutral encyclopedia. Actually, I didn't read it properly. I retract my objection.
Patriarchy has a range of additional associations when used in the context of feminist theory (see below).
The text below does not specify this well. At least write a summary next to it to save the reader frustration.
The next paragraph informs the reader well but is not well written.
The rest below is just, well, porridge.
The reader is probably curious about what patriarchy means (not just how it is defined) and what feminism postulates regarding its workings. Rintrah 05:55, 3 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, all this criticism is out of date. Rintrah 08:35, 3 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Blockquote in feminist view

I have deleted the blockquote in the subsection "Feminist view" for the following reasons:

  • Its significance is not clear;
  • It is difficult to understand;
  • It acts as a substitute to a sorely needed explanation of the feminist view of Patriarchy;
  • It takes up a disproportionate space: its length is more than the rest of the section, leading one to assume it is highly significant, even though, most likely, it's not; and
  • Its ideas ought to be clearly explained first (not just with a pithy summary).

Please justify the blockquote before reinserting it. Article subsections should not be dedicated to featuring examples from academic writing; they should contain directly relevant information. Rintrah 15:23, 9 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I concur with your assessment Rintrah. The quote was not a helpful example of feminist treatment of patriarchy.
Perhaps it might be helpful to suggest that feminists do not define patriarchy differently to non-feminists. What feminist do is criticize patriarchy. As I understand it, everyone says patriarchy is where men dominate in heirarchies. Some people say that is how it should be. Others say we should have equal numbers of men and women. Some of this second group are feminists, and others are not. Some extreme feminists say patriarchy is a very long term conspiracy. Some argue that before we have written records, women were equally represented in whatever heirarchies there were. Others say heirarchy and patriarchy go together and are both wrong. Some very extreme feminists say women are better suited to leadership than men.
The point I am making is that an encyclopaedia entry should define a theoretical word, rather like a dictionary does, e.g. psychoanalysis, astronomy, etc. After that it can give a history of progress and/or debate. If the debate has been resolved this should be noted, e.g. Copernican Cosmology finally triumphed over the preceding Greek system. If the debate has not been resolved, this should also be noted. That, I think is where we are at with patriarchy. There is general agreement about what patriarchy IS. However, there is a very interesting range of criticisms of it, and some very interesting defences of it also.
I am currently reading widely in feminist literature to find out the different kinds of views of patriarchy they have. I will try to provide some quality quotes from feminist theorists. There is one prominent academic who defends patriarchy. After I have provided some quality feminist material. It will be easy to summarize the case FOR patriarchy. Alastair Haines 14:21, 21 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I came here for intelligent information and found almost none. This fact alone strongly suggests that a few socially-challenged men dominate this society, and that women and many men have very little voice whatsoever. Athana 16:51, 3 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Perhaps you can address this lack of intelligent information, then. I suggest you borrow some books from the library, research the subject, and write about it here, in encyclopedic form, with the information sourced from those books. Patriarchy, it seems, is a difficult subject to write about, and even more so in encyclopedic form; but it is worth trying. If you can, others who come here will not meet similar disappointment. Rintrah 03:40, 4 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Incorrect interwiki links

Several of the interwiki links in this article link to the equivalent articles of Patriarchate. However, I don't know most of the languages linked to, so I'm unable to correct any of them apart from the no: link. -- SLB (no) 11:49, 9 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for this important note. I too am not sufficiently familiar with the other languages to know if those links are correct. I'm just assuming they are provided and maintained by native speakers of those languages, bilingual in English. I'd love to help that part of the team as best I can. Guess I've just got to trust they'll work it out. Thanks for the Norweigen edit though!

Alastair Haines 04:33, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is an extremely weak article

It's profoundly ahistorical; the history of patriarchal society (its evolution & its critics) is addressed in the most perfunctory fashion. Billbrock 02:40, 13 March 2007 (UTC) Upon reflection, the feminist critique section isn't that bad, but were that moved elsewhere, the remainder would look très lame. Billbrock 02:49, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for your opinion Bill. Thanks especially for kind comment on the feminist critique section, I have worked very hard to summarize a vast amount of material there.

Regarding lack of history. I'm assuming you're not suggesting it is contrary to historical fact. I've been very careful to find multiple sources of verification for matters of historical fact. Anything that can be showed false in whole or part should be removed or modified appropriately, of course.

If I understand you correctly, it is the lack of specific historical examples of patriarchy that disappoints you. Anyone is welcome to write a History of patriarchy subsection, of course, but I'm not quite sure what you expect it would say.

A history of responsible fatherhood would be a wonderful contribution to social studies. How did fathers promote and defend their families through the many challenges various societies have been through? For example, how did fathers accomodate to the challenges of the industrial revolution in Europe? How did indiginous fathers respond to the impact of European colonialism on their families in various parts of the world? How did colonizing fathers pursue the welfare of their families in the often radical new settings of various colonial environments? I would love to know these things too, but it seems too large a topic for a humble general entry on patriarchy. It is certainly beyond my abilities, I'm just trying to get some basics laid down.

Perhaps you would like to draft a stub article on History of patriarchy, maybe we could recruit some editors to help us work on it. I would be happy to contribute material on the Ancient Near East, that's my area.

Alastair Haines 04:27, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Work on the Ancient Near East then. I'll work on restoring the "lame" tag. Nothing personal: the first draft of anything always s***s, and this is a work in progress. Billbrock 04:53, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Modes of production: hunter-gatherer / herder / agriculture. Patriarchal > Feudal > Capitalistic. 19c socialists (e.g., Fourier), Marx, Freud (there's some patriarchs for you!). Not saying to avoid the biology: but biological reductionism is as fallacious as historical reductionism. Billbrock 05:16, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Patriarchal federalism? (from Israelites to Tartars to the Hollywood vision of Arab society as depicted in Lawrence of Arabia) There's gotta be scholarship out there. Billbrock 05:36, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I admit I didn't notice Start Class, so I'm OK with removal of cleanup template. Billbrock 21:59, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Steven Goldberg

Does Goldberg deserve to be featured so prominently? Does the passage, "Feminism largely provides moral comment, Goldberg instead tries to provide scientific explanation" follow WP:NPOV? It may, but I am not convinced by the mere removal of the NPOV template. An argument would be helpful here. Billbrock 04:58, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

... and I'm not convinced there's bias, just because you put a tag there. ;) Joke, joke, hope you appreciate it. I've expanded and reworded the end of the Feminism section, and expanded the intro to the Goldberg section. Please let me know if you think it reads more fairly in your eyes. People are very sensitive to things in this topic area and suspect bias even when there's none. So it's always helpful to hear everyone's perceptions of the text at every stage. Only thing is, I don't want to write paragraphs and paragraphs to demonstrate that the writer is not biased. This is an article about patriarchy, not about me. Goldberg is one of very few writers to actually write a monograph on patriarchy. What's strange is not starting with him, not the fact that he's included! The only reason I include him after feminism, is because that bias is more acceptable to more people. By rights, Goldberg comes earlier in time than 2nd wave feminism and is more directly relevant and less complicated, and would normally be first. But there's no point doing that when some readers are screaming because the first sentence isn't "patriarchy is the word used to describe men's unfair domination over women that continues to this day!" That is how some feminists use the word. I've included some quotes of that. Can't you feel the passion of Mary Daly and Carole Pateman. Wow! For some people, this is precisely what patriarchy means. I deeply sympathise with people who think this and want to do justice to their feelings without betraying objective facts. It's worth remembering that most feminists think patriarchy is almost unstoppable and they face angering male lust and arrogant superiority merely shopping or catching public transport. They don't care if there was ever a matriarchy, what matters is what men do today and tomorrow, the question is, "How do we change this appalling behaviour?" If Goldberg and recent biological results are right, and testosterone makes this inevitable, that means we've got some serious work to do. If legislation isn't working, maybe we need more legislation, maybe we're just not taking it all seriously enough. But there's one thing that won't help, and that's pretending the biological factors are not there and silencing any reporting of them. That would stop us from taking the radical action needed. Bill, I'm no politician, I don't know the answers, I'm just reporting what the peer-reviewed and published experts say. I'm reporting where these people disagree. The feminist voice needs to be in this article, but so do the scientific results. Believe it or not, there are people who defend the morality of patriarchy. I think there will be a bias in this article, I think I might not be reporting what the defenders of patriarchy say. But, you know what, I don't think anyone will pull me up on that. So, back to the point, you think I'm biased because I'm not reporting moral supporters of patriarchy? Which way exactly do you think I'm biased? It'd be fun to find out. ;)Alastair Haines 07:44, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
17b-hydroxy-4-androsten-3-one is one of my favorite hormones; it's also secreted by the ovaries. Expanding the Goldberg stub would be a fine addition to WP, and an efficient means of transforming mere assertion into reasoned argument. Billbrock 14:15, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When I have time, and if no-one else does the work, I'll put some effort into expanding the Goldberg stub, like you suggest. What stands in this article is a report, not an argument. All reports are assertions of the historical facts of people saying things, where what they have said can be verified because they have been published. I'm happy to make assertions and arguments on the talk page. Won't do it in any articles i contribute to, though.

Actually, what I'd love to see is an entry on Patriarchy in feminism. There has been so much written in feminism about patriarchy, it all expresses a point of view of course, but that's no problem if the article is about a special point of view. If an article on Marxism presents Marx' ideas that doesn't make the writer Marxist, just relevant and accurate. I think what people get upset about is when Captialists write about Marxism or delete it. Their POV intrudes and silences the view the article is supposed to describe. By analogy, if patriarchy is objectionable to Feminists, an accurate patriarchy article will describe and report exactly the things they find objectionable. We just have to trust that they will be thrilled that what they disagree with is clearly stated, so they can show how bad it is, rather than trying to silence it, which would mean no-one can see what needs to be changed.

I only wrote this article because there was a request on the page for someone to do that, and I happen to be working in a related area -- love poetry, actually -- and I've been discovering that most love poetry assumes patriarchy, but that's original research, don't tell anyone, or they'll publish it faster than I can ;).

"Alleged matriarchies"

Simple and unideological question: what's this doing in an article on patriarchy? I look forward to an article on "alleged communist societies" in Capitalism. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Billbrock (talkcontribs) 05:07, 13 March 2007 (UTC). Billbrock 05:16, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As you know, Wikipedia requires statements to be verifiable. The first paragraph of the article quotes authoritative sources that say there are no known matriarchies. This has not been sufficient for some Wiki readers, who have contacted me personally. One way of responding to their comments is making available to them the same evidence the authoritative sources have access to. More information seems better than less, as long as it is relevant and someone is willing to provide it. Others have wanted more information, I've provided it. If you don't need that information, don't worry about it, but we don't need to take it away from people who want it do we? As for merging it with the Matriarchy entry, it would be odd to put evidence against Matriarchy in that article. It is a well written article which this article links to, but it represents a "minority report". More power to them is what I say. I don't personally know if there was ever a Matriarchy and it's no concern of mine. All I'm doing is reporting for the patriarchy article what the best and most recent research is saying. Personally I'm thrilled that people are still looking for Matriarchies, and I'll be even more excited if we find more concrete evidence. We will learn a lot, but it won't change the facts recorded in the article here. Even a dozen matriarchies would end up being exceptions that proved a rule. The main point though is, at this point, why would Wiki refuse to report the majority opinion regarding patriarchy in the patriarchy article, especially when Britannica does? I really appreciate your comments Bill and I'm going to leave the POV tag in place this time, because you've followed the Wiki protocol of noting the POV dispute in the talk page. However, if you really want a merger just put the info there, but I'm pretty sure someone will delete it and get angry. Evidence against matriarchy belongs on the patriarchy page, not the matriarchy page. That way people can hold us accountable here if its wrong. If this makes sense to you Bill, it'd give me a warm glow if you'd withdraw the recommended merge request. I guess after a week or so, if someone else hasn't removed it, or you haven't persuaded me further, I'll do it. There's no harm in it staying for a bit. Back to you, friend.Alastair Haines 07:05, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"However, if you really want a merger just put the info there, but I'm pretty sure someone will delete it and get angry." Aren't you being a little...er...patriarchal? I'm not disputing your claim; I simply don't follow the logic of putting the material under discussion in this article. To repeat myself, there are no "true communist societies," either; I don't see that discussion in the capitalism essay. Billbrock 14:03, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Paradoxically, the attempt to define the patriarchy by negation ("that which is not matriarchal") seems to privilege the latter. Billbrock 22:04, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unless someone has changed things, paragraph 1 of the article defines patriarchy as father-rule and by extention male-rule. It then comments there are no known matriarchies ... yet. The point of saying there are no matriarchies is to demonstrate the scope of the relevance of patriarchy. Feminists are absolutely right, patriarchy is everywhere. What are we going to do about it? Their suggestions (of several different kinds) are summarised. There are writers who want to promote patriarchy, but I haven't mentioned their views. Perhaps we need a "pro-patriachy" article as well as a "patriarchy in feminism" article. The problem is finding people to write them.

By the way, any chance you could add something or start a new entry? Do you have a passion for something not covered already that you could research, of expertise in an area, that someone else could reference for you? Wiki is mainly about people adding more stuff, but all the workers are volunteers. Wiki needs you!Alastair Haines 01:58, 14 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My Ph.D. is not in the social sciences, thanks. Billbrock 03:44, 14 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You outrank me good doctor! Sorry I'm not patriarchal enough to show more respect, friend. ;) But seriously, what's needed is research skills, not specialization. If you get any time ... Alastair Haines 04:41, 15 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Understood that this is a work in process, but the proposed vector of the article as currently drafted bears the not-so-alluring perfume of WP:OR. Billbrock 05:25, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey Bill, thanks for this, it's a warning I well understand. Actually, I am being careful about that. Indeed I am doing OR in a related field, but nothing in this one. By the way, though, it's hardly OR to present Goldberg's hypothesis published in 1973! Though it is true that current OR in biology is confirming that hypothesis regularly, but by the time I get to hear of it, it's already peer reviewed and published, so no longer in the OR category. So, anyway, I'm happy this article doesn't have any ideas of mine in it. If you can find any ideas in it that no one else has said, please let me know, I'll delete them here, and get credit by publishing them elsewhere, lol. Hope you appreciate my humour. Cheers mate.Alastair Haines 07:17, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Was the peer review conducted in a pub? :-) Billbrock 13:52, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
LoL, I don't know, I wasn't consulted or involved, the results were simply posted.Alastair Haines 01:10, 14 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What is "patriarchy"?

Arguendo, assume that biological determinism dictates that men will always dominate women. Isn't patriarchy one specific social form (not necessarily the only possible one) of that domination? Billbrock 14:23, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with you. Unfortunately, that is orginal research, that is, I don't know anyone except you who has proposed it, or I would add that to the article (and acknowldge them in a reference). I think it is a weakness of Goldberg that he focusses on patriarchy more than attainment and domination. If more people like yourself make this kind of helpful comment. I will put some time aside to expand on Brain Sex, Christina Hoff Sommers and some other writers who are more creative in exploring these issues. By the way, another area I think needs more work, is refining what are positive uses of domination and what are negative ones. We are moving away from patriarchy to discuss those though. There are some excellent entries on ethics and politics, areas I have not personally studied much. I've enjoyed consulting the Stanford Ecyclopedia of Philosophy on them though. What do you think of the entries on Marxism and Feminism there?Alastair Haines 01:11, 14 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"I don't know anyone except you who has proposed it" Oy vey. Two moldy oldies: "The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women." Marx/Engels, Manifesto; also see this. Billbrock 04:16, 14 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is the link to some of Freud's phallic stuff? Don't know French I'm affraid, only a little Sumerian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Latin, Greek. Nobody warned me they'd not help my social life. I mix with the wrong people ... dead ones! ;) Alastair Haines 04:36, 15 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just pick up a copy of Totem & Taboo. Billbrock 14:15, 15 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]